Is Delia a meek or strong character? Why or why not?  

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rdb919 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Hurston's story, "Sweat," Delia is a complex character. She tolerates a lot of bad treatment from her husband Sykes. He speaks to her disrespectfully, throws pretend snakes (whips) at her, and walks around town with his girlfriend. Yet, Delia does nothing about these things. She seems to be afraid of him and too focused on her job to do anything about his behavior.

However, by the end of the story, after Sykes has brought a real live snake into the house, Delia has changed. She has decided not to put up with her husband's abuse any more. When he is bitten by the snake, she refuses to go in and help him. Even though she appears not to be doing anything, her resistance itself is a kind of strength. While we see her being meek in many ways, by the end of the story she proves herself to be quite strong in not going inside to save Sykes.